Get to know: Mathew Boice
I admire firms that are able to face challenges by innovating, adapting and transforming, and are able to do so on a large scale.
What’s your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?
While I was in the UK, I worked with further education colleges, one of which was a teaching university called Milton Keynes College, where I served as CIO. I also worked at Thames Valley University, which had a significant number of students, making it a serious place to be running IT. I started working with Ellucian in the UK 16 years ago. I moved to the Middle East in 2003, and started working with small, but impactful clients in Dubai.
If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
There needs to be greater appreciation for customer value and what that means. For us at Ellucian, it means being responsive to customer needs and delivering products and services that are in line with the customer’s expectations. Your clients must be able to realise the work that you are offering.
What product or technology should the channel watch out for this year?
Before anything else, for every product or service, it is important to ask: does the channel believe in customer value? Are they committed to it? There is a difference between realising customer value and simply delivering a product.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
As I witness the achievements of our clients in the region, I feel very proud to have been a part of their development. From the start, we at Ellucian have been committed to the vision of helping our customers on their journey.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
A board member at a previous firm once told me that I “shouldn’t be there”, that I didn’t belong there because I was too young to be stuck in a company that was unable to grow and adapt.
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made since working in the IT market?
The biggest mistake that anyone can make in IT market is thinking you know something. It’s ever-changing and challenging. So you have to be ready to adapt quickly and that means looking at innovation differently.
Which IT company, other than your own, do you most admire and why?
I admire firms that are able to face challenges by innovating, adapting, and transforming and are able to do so on a large scale. For example, IBM amazed the industry when it proved itself to be just as innovative as newer big tech names by launching cloud for IBM.
What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East IT channel?
I would say that we face capacity issues in terms of quality. This goes back to customer value. Providing a service is only part of the work, but it is important to add value to the institutions and businesses that we serve.
What’s your favourite thing about the company you currently work for?
There is so much more to be done for the education sector around the world, which is why it’s exciting to be part of this sector. What’s great about Ellucian is our thrust and velocity, and we are excited about what we do. We want to use this energy to fuel our value-centric perspective.
What sort of interests do you have outside of work?
I love sport and fitness. My next challenge is to climb Mont Blanc in the Alps. It’s going to take a lot of endurance work and strength work, but I’m up for it.